In this reoccurring series, we speak with CyberGRX team members about why they joined the company, what their experience has been like, and what they're looking forward to the most.
Here we chat with Azraphael Zaenir, Assessment Coordinator.
Name: Azraphael Zaenir
Time with CyberGRX: 10 months
Why did you select CyberGRX over other employment opportunities?
I heard tales of the "legendary CyberGRX" from a good friend of mine. During our weekly Dungeons & Dragons sessions she would talk about her work and how much she enjoyed it. Where I and two of my other friends (who all worked at the same place) would be complaining about how miserable our days were and how little our huge corporation cared about us, she would talk about how much her company cared about its employees and how she felt so pleased with the pacing of her work compared to the constant deluge of work in the call center life.
She told us about how much personal freedom there was to work at your own pace and how the company showed it trusts its employees rather than the endless micromanaging and nitpicking that we experienced on a day-to-day basis. At that time I told her that even if the pay would be less I would still apply just for that better lifestyle to which she informed me the pay was even better. It was truly a step up in every way!
How has your job changed over your time here?
Over the year I've worked here my responsibilities have remained mostly the same until recently. From training there has been a gentle ramp-up in terms of the amount of work and complexity of the work I've been given, however there has always been that knowledge that if I was feeling overwhelmed I could speak with my manager to go over options to help balance the workload.
One thing that did change very soon was being added to the Learning & Development (L&D) team, which at the time only handled guidelines. After only working here a few weeks I begged my manager to let me edit some of the guidelines that were out of date or badly unclear and she put me on that team. More recently, the L&D team has evolved to handling training as well and I've taken the role of the lead for the team. Being so involved in the training process as well as the guidelines has been such a joy.
What keeps you at CyberGRX?
The care. I am not a person with a... terribly capitalistic mindset. I am very critical of the unhealthy work culture that has formed in the US over the years. More than anything else though, the lack of care and dehumanizing treatment of employees at so many large companies has been a major source of depression and anxiety for me and many others. CyberGRX is the first company that not only SAYS "We care" but they SHOW they care and that makes all the difference!
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out at CyberGRX?
Don't be afraid to speak your mind and always feel comfortable asking questions. That ability is essential and it is truly the best way to develop. Be comfortable to ask "Why is this process this way?" and "Could this be a better way to do this?" Even if the answer is no, the feedback is always heard and taken into actual consideration for the future, rather than the company just saying “We’re listening to you :) “ and not actually listening to anyone but their execs.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 3 years?
I have always struggled with questions like this as I am very much a "one foot in front of the other" type of person. However, with CyberGRX I do see a possible future for me. I hope in 3 years I will either be a manager, or an organization lead above the manager position. For the first time in years I find myself not wanting to move up in a company simply to get out of my intro position, but instead to try to move up in a company to better myself.
How does the leadership team help set the vision for the company and how does that trickle down to the individual departments?
I've probably harped on it enough, but the leadership team truly shows their vision for the company by conveying that mindset of valuing their people NOT as "employees" but as "PEOPLE who work for us". For example, with work ramping up, our CEO himself advised us if we were suffering from burnout to speak with our supervisors and to take time off for ourselves to try to recover. That matters more than a thousand "our team is great" messages.
What most excites you about the future of CyberGRX, cybersecurity, and/or your career path?
CyberGRX is a start-up with lofty ambitions and a very unique attitude towards their employees and leadership. I am excited to see CyberGRX grow, and to grow along with it. I want to be one of the people at the forefront of making sure the company retains its values and prioritizing and humanizing the people who work here. I am excited to see where the company will develop and what new skills and outlooks will be brought in by people of diverse backgrounds.
Also, I think the fact that the company is so vocal about their Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is great. Though the company does have a number of "straight, white, men'' in leadership roles, I have seen active efforts to really try to step up the D&I initiatives and it is something that is talked about constantly. I think as more women, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community join leadership, the company will be stronger for it. There are so many benefits and it’s a positive, safe environment for people of the LGBT+ community, and I think the company should be proud of these efforts and try to highlight that more as well as explore additional ways to bring in and celebrate that community.